Texans, help endangered plants by collecting seeds

Concerned citizens in Texas have a unique opportunity this weekend to learn how to collect seeds for storage in the Millennium Seed Bank Project.

Sponsored by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, the program (this Saturday at 9 a.m.) will teach participants about the Millennium Seed Project and how to collect seeds from local species. Volunteers will end up monitoring plant species in the area, then collect seeds at the appropriate time in the plants' life cycles.

50% of the collected seeds will go to Kew Gardens in the UK (they sponsor the Millennium Seed Bank Project), 30% will stay with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the nearby Mercer Arboretum, and the remaining 20% will go to the National Center for Genetic Resource Preservation, which also maintains a seed bank.

The project aims to collect 20,000 seeds from 645 species. The Millennium Seed Bank Project hopes to collect seeds from 25% of the world's plant species by the year 2020 with the goal of preserving species against extinction from man-made or natural disasters.

Not in Texas or close enough to help? You can make donations to help fund the Millennium Seed Bank Project here.